Spacious, specced Agya compromises on refinement, makes our beagle holler

Toyota’s all-new baby Agya has some serious shoes to fill. Taking over from the veritable Aygo at the bottom of South Africa’s most car popular range, it competes with A segment rivals like Grand i10, Kwid and the Go.

It’s an eye-catching and efficient set of wheels that’s not just highly affordable, but it also carries that crucial Toyota credibility. Bigger and more spacious than the Aygo it replaces, the 5-door Agya is also available as an automatic. That was never an option with its predecessor. But is it up to the car it replaces in quality?


Well, the short answer is no. In fact it falls some way short of its predecessor in some ways. But it also improves elsewhere. It feels tinnier, whistles in the wind and lacks that top class stamp of approval that the old car enjoyed. But funky and stylish, Agya certainly is.

And it packs a lot of spec for the price. From bold projector headlamps each side of its expressive 3D grille, it also gets colour coded repeater mirrors and dark 14-inch alloys. You notice Agya by its bright colours and our bronze sampler is no exception. There’s other cool stuff like a roof spoiler with a stop lamp above rear bumper garnish. But we don’t know about those taillamps. Dodgy. That’s just our take.

Agya packs an alarm and immobiliser and remote central locking and the cabin is one place you may not miss your Aygo all that much. Smart, sporty and functional with some cool material choices, it packs power steering, power windows, climate control air conditioning and a multi-information display to go with the stylish dials.

Ours even had audio, and like all Agyas, came Toyota Connect prepared with the MyToyota App and the new MyEntertainment with Videoplay and MyMuze music streaming. Add CD, Bluetooth, aux and USB connectivity and a 12-volt charging socket. And you can also include an optional dealer-fitted smartphone mirroring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto touchscreen audio system in yours


You won’t miss the Aygo’s familiar 49 kW 89 Nm push-to-start litre 3-pob either. Agya carries the raspy, perky and frugal lump over and ours had the 5-speed manual too. If you want it, Agya now also comes in a 4-speed auto, which is something the old car did not. Acceleration is nothing to write home about — as it isn’t in all this car’s rivals. But it proved a second quicker than claimed, so there’s another plus.

They promise top speed is 165 km/h and that Agya sips 4.8 l/100 km and emits 112 g/km CO2. We certainly noticed that it’s quite frugal in the real world. Albeit range is hampered by a limited fuel tank capacity. Once again, that’s a common deficit in this neck of the woods.

Riding on McPherson strut front and a torsion beam rear suspension on a 2,455 mm wheelbase, handling is reasonable but ours suffered from a fairly noisy ride. And it started howling so loud in one trip freeway in particularly fierce Cape Southeaster, that my beagle Bentley who was along for the ride, joined in. It soon sounded like we were in a hunt and I’m not sure who sung better the car or the hound!

Agya has dual airbags, ISOFIX restraint mounts and rear door child locks. There’s ABS anti-skid with electronic brake force distribution. A lesser safety spec Agya scored four stars in the Asian NCAP crash test.


The new Toyota’s Agya’s biggest plus is that it is much longer and that translates to plenty room inside. It’s easier to get in and out of and four adults can ride in Agya quite comfortably too. It has both 92 mm more rear cabin space and a bigger boot than the Aygo. And it’s more practical. Safe and secure.

All in all, this Daihatsu-based Agya seems a fair replacement to the Aygo many will certainly miss. It lacks that car’s European build quality, finnesse and build quality. But then it’s considerably bigger and people friendlier; well enough equipped and funky enough. And it has a pretty cool cabin, to pull it off well enough for even our beagle to call it a friend.

Yes, it’s tinny, but Agya does the job. And of course, it’s a Toyota… — Michele Lupini

ROAD TESTED: Toyota Agya 1.0 audio
Engine 49 kW 89 Nm litre petrol I3
Drive: 5-speed manual FWD
0-60 km/h:       5.32 sec
0-100 km/h:      13.88 sec
400m:            19.8 sec @ 117 km/h
80-120 km/h:     12.76 sec
VMax:             165km/h
Fuel:             4.8 l/100 km
CO2:              112 g/km
Warranty/Service: 3y 100K/2 service 20K km
LIST PRICE:       R182K
RATED:            6
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